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"With Their Own Rope": non-violent overthrow of the global corporate/financial Empire

By       Message Alan MacDonald     Permalink
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Naturally, the expanded and newly ‘branded’ Socially Responsible and Honest Investment Funds Industry will have to do much more than just toot their marketing horn about all their benefits over the old, crooked, Wall Street ‘gamers’ and con-artists of the traditional investment scam.  They will have to actually deliver results (which they already have been in their ‘socially responsible’ portfolios), but now they will also have to have an SR&H industry audit and approval mechanism that is actually based both on rules and ‘principles’, has teeth, and controls the use of an ‘Approved SR&H Investment Symbol’ (similar to such labels as ‘Energy Star”, “Dolphin Free”, “Green Power” etc. that give real assurance to average people).  [As an aside, the issue of ‘principle based’ vs. ‘rule based’ compliance was brought home to me in watching a recent C-Span TV broadcast of last week’s pompous, pontificating, elite “Capital Markets Competitiveness’ committee meeting of Wall Street big wigs, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, the SEC Chief, GE’s president, and assorted Investment Fund crooks --- including Charles Schwab, who explained why ‘principle-based’ concerns are really of no concern, saying, and I’m paraphrasing, “Corporations are only required to make a profit, and that is the only basis for evaluating them.”   Well, as they say, “Sorry, Charlie”, but that old elitist, ill-considered, short-sighted, and ultimately ‘socially unsustainable’ answer, while it may be appealing to your globally detached elite investor bidness buddies, no longer cuts it in a world full of dangerous and hidden ‘negative externality bombs’ in our small and only remaining human world.  “It’s our world, and it’s our money, chump, and we won’t have it used to destroy the world and cheat us to boot.”

3. The ‘Socially Responsible and Honest Investment Funds’ industry will also have to really increase the focus of their company analysis methods, from what has thus far been a fortuitous accident of screening out companies that ‘do bad things’, to screen-out  companies that specifically dump ‘negative externality costs’ on our society.   It has just so happened that some companies that are socially irresponsible (like tobacco, asbestos, coal fired utilities and oil corporations) are that way because they dump negative externalities (sometimes called ‘social costs’) on society.   This type of dumping or polluting is what makes them come up on the radar of current ‘social responsibility funds’.  But there are many others ways for bad corporate behavior to dump negative externality costs than just the common direct method of polluting our lungs or the atmosphere.  The new SR&H fund analysis and profiling will have to be broadened to find more disguised and hidden ‘negative externality dumping ‘ tricks by proactively looking for other guileful ways that all forms of ‘gaming’ externalities are being hidden from the public and ‘our’ government.

One brief example of a much disguised variation on ‘negative externality dumping’ is a trick of hedge fund crooks and private equity pirates, who hide not pollution but debt bombs.  Even “BusinessWeek” magazine (hardly a left wing group) recently did a cover article exposé on this type of ‘gaming’ of the finance system --- where the externality that is dumped on society is not pollution, but bad debt that will explode in the future.  Other schemes of gaming negative externalities are even more esoteric and convoluted, but the key is that analysis and exposure of these dirty financial tricks are now, for the first time, being understood and examined --- so that honest people won’t be entrapped in investing in these anti-social scams.

Watch for big changes in the ‘socially responsible and honest investment fund’ industry and new opportunities to invest your funds in ways that you can feel good about both because of being socially responsible and because such investment firms are committed to basic honesty --- and you won’t have to be looking over your shoulder for constant cheating.  As far as the ‘negative externality dumping’ scams are concerned you can look into it more if you enjoy economic analysis, but if not, watch your favorite progressive news web sites --- this is going to be big news fast. 

The bottom-line is that by simply directing the investments of millions of average, honest, and socially responsible Americans to this new environment we can all have a much greater effect in bringing down the global corporate Empire than any misguided “don’t buy gas for the day” campaigns.   Working, voting and investing together in responsible and honest ways, we can actually bring down the global corporate Empire that has already stolen our government ---- and do so non-violently.  We can bring down the Empire, “with their own rope”.

Good luck on being a responsible voter and investor ---- it definitely is possible.

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Retired Director of Product Strategy NEC now teaching HS part time.

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